I originally posted this on my persona Facebook Page and I received a great outpouring of responses I thought I would share here for those that do not use Facebook. Prior to sharing on Face book this week, I have never shared this publicly before.
On June 25th 2018 at 39 years old plus 9 months I had a major Heart Attack. Like, the big one. The kind an interventional cardiologist fixes quickly and requires ICU and a hospital stay. A mortality check, (near) death experiences, tests, procedures, recovery time and I was at home with my family.
I started Cardiac Rehab, was feeling pretty good despite a weakened heart and morale, and 5 weeks later, another Heart Attack, another death experience, more procedures, more hospital stays and more recovery time.
It is crazy what people go through in their lives that most of us don’t even know about. I am different now than I was before. No one probably knows, I know.
5 years later (June 2023), a Pandemic and my first-born child, I am very fortunate to have been able to grow my family and enjoy a life that is both meaningful and, I hope, making the world a better place.
Today, I was thinking about my HEART HEALTH and the inequities in healthcare today (like most days), gender and sexual orientation based, racial, socioeconomic, you know, the determinants of health. Specifically, I was thinking about the inequities faced by indigenous people in Manitoba. This has been a major focus of my life for several decades now so not really anything out of the ordinary for me. Incredibly frustrating and the most important issue facing Canadian society in my mind.
A Physician colleague recently advised me, in not so many words, that their position in society and the privilege that they have, is not going to be used to advocate for the rights of Manitoba indigenous people. They are focused on other healthcare inequities and that particular focus doesn’t fit the priorities. That’s my takeaway anyway. Even though the platform and opportunity is there. Priorities I suppose, but who knows what goes on behind the scenes or what else is going on in their lives.
I mention this because it really bothered me and got me thinking about how grateful I am that many many people have advocated for better heart care in Manitoba. It has made a difference in so many lives and really changed the way Heart patients are treated in Manitoba. I have received the benefit from this and was given a second chance because of it. It’s not the same thing, but it got me thinking.
One way that I advocate for Heart Health is by creating the Community Heart Health Program through the Manitoba Society of Physician Assistants. A program that mentors PAs to become CPR instructors, to share training and experience with others and to hopefully help others save a life too. An education program that started from tragedy but grew from passion and hope.
February is also American Heart Month